- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2008

The letter G is for government for Aura Kenny Dunn, newly appointed assistant vice president of government relations at the Sesame Workshop, the group that produces the “Sesame Street” public television show.

While most of America is familiar with Sesame Street and its cast of educational characters, relatively few know about Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit education organization that has produced Sesame Street for 39 years as well as several other educational programs.

“I serve as a liaison to the government, Capitol Hill and federal agencies,” said Mrs. Dunn, who grew up in Brooklyn. “We try and go around traditional public policy to harness the power of the media.”

Mrs. Dunn is part of the Sesame Workshop team that competes for funding from the government to promote “Sesame Street” and other programs including its Healthy Habit Initiative, which aims to combat childhood obesity.

“There is no better job in D.C. than working for the Sesame Workshop because everybody is happy to meet with the people behind Sesame Street,” said Mrs. Dunn. “Still, sometimes it is hard to get their attention and get them to see beyond ‘Sesame Street’ to our other projects.”

Mrs. Dunn’s resume includes a stint at the Greystone Group, where she coordinated legislative affairs for the Sesame Workshop. She also worked on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee and was a senior policy adviser to then-Rep. Jack Quinn, New York Republican.

Her Capitol Hill experience makes her a valuable asset for the New York nonprofit.

“Coupling Aura’s wealth of experience in government and public television with Sesame Workshop’s mission to educate and improve the lives of children naturally presents invaluable ways to advocate on behalf of kids everywhere,” said Myung Kang-Huneke, vice president and general counsel at Sesame Workshop. “Her expertise and access within the Beltway and the television industry will help Sesame Workshop expand the growing reach of this mission.”

Mrs. Dunn earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1992 and a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University in 1995.

She lives in Arlington with her husband, Keary, and three children.

Timothy Warren

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